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Thread: Reverse-converting CNC vertical mills

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    Default Reverse-converting CNC vertical mills

    I'm digging around on various online sites looking at used mills and finding the CNC mills with roached circuit boards going for $1000-1500. A few Acers, Bridgeports, Kondia/Hurcos, etc. They look like manual mills with servos retrofitted to them. They seem to want to let them go because of the cost of fixing dated CNC equipment and shortage of dated parts.

    Is it just a matter of trashing or reselling the servos and swapping the table end housings and other housings for manual parts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Ballscrews will move freely without something holding them from rotation.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2003
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    You might be able to put table locks to hold the axis you aren't cranking.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2010
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    Default

    Usually the iron on those machines is in fine shape, the old electronics are what makes them worthless. It would seem less of a job to convert one of those over to acme lead screws or just put some kind of brake mechanism on each axis than to convert a manual machine to CNC. I don't know the ins and outs of changing the electrical control parts from cnc to manual, though.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2004
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    N.J.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolguy View Post
    Usually the iron on those machines is in fine shape, the old electronics are what makes them worthless. It would seem less of a job to convert one of those over to acme lead screws or just put some kind of brake mechanism on each axis than to convert a manual machine to CNC. I don't know the ins and outs of changing the electrical control parts from cnc to manual, though.
    That idea could be the start of a series of articles for HSM magazine. Taking a CNC mill back in time...

  6. #6
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    Jan 2008
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    Default

    Yeck.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by RB211 View Post
    Ballscrews will move freely without something holding them from rotation.
    Not totally true. My BP has ball screws and is fine in manual mode.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    On the Oil Coast,USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside53 View Post
    Not totally true. My BP has ball screws and is fine in manual mode.
    Yep,all depends on lead,many will have a single lead .200" pitch ballscrew,just like a bridgeport acme thread lead screw.We bought a Milltronics?CNC mill conversion for a good deal,just because it was built on a Sharp 9x49 knee mill with low hours.It has safety peg hand wheels factory installed with .200" lead ballscrews on x and y.I figured if I never got the CNC back up and running we would still have a good knee mill underneath.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

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